No. 10-seeded Utah State (14-12) lost, 4-1, to No. 2 seed Fresno State (10-12) on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championship in Boise, Idaho.
"Obviously, this was an extremely tough loss," head coach Sean McInerney said. "It was a great college tennis match, and we gave it everything we had for three hours. We came up short, but I am very proud of our effort. This program is not into moral victories, but we took a step closer to our ultimate goal as a program today."
In doubles, senior Sabrina Demerath and junior Jenna Kane lost, 1-6, at the No. 3 spot to sophomore Katerina Stloukalova and junior Olivia Noble. Junior Emma Wilson and sophomore Georgia Lawson, who are ranked No. 44 in the nation and earned all-Mountain West honors in doubles, defeated senior Maggie O'Meara and redshirt freshman Alexandra Taylor, 6-2, at the No. 1 spot to clinch the point. Sophomore Hannah Jones and freshman Sasha Pisareva trailed, 3-4, at the No. 2 spot against sophomore Juliane Triebe and freshman Alessia Dario, but the match ended unfinished due to the other courts' results.
The Aggies came out strong in singles with five of the six courts winning the first set. O'Meara lost, 1-6, 1-6, at the No. 3 spot to Triebe, who earned all-Mountain West honors in singles. Jones posted a straight-set victory at the No. 5 spot, 6-4, 6-2, against Dario. Demerath won her first set, 6-4, at the No. 2 spot against Stloukalova, who was named all-MW in singles, but she lost the next two, 1-6, 3-6. Pisareva, who earned all-Mountain West in singles, also won her first set, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot over Wilson. Wilson, who was also named all-MW in singles, came back in the next two to clinch the Fresno State win after a 7-5, 6-0 win in the remaining sets.
Utah State finished the 2018 season with 14 wins to tie for the most in program history. Demerath and O'Meara finished in the top five in all-time wins at No. 3 with 132 and No. 4 with 128, respectively. O'Meara tied for second in all-time doubles wins with 71, while Demerath is fifth with 61. Demerath finished No. 4 in all-time singles wins with 71. Pisareva finished the season with a team-leading 22 singles victories to rank No. 6 for most singles wins in a single season.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.